Biography & Memoir Book Reviews

THE BAREFOOT WOMAN by Scholastique Mukasonga
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 11, 2018

"A loving, urgent memorial to people now 'deep in the jumble of some ossuary' who might otherwise be forgotten in time."
A profoundly affecting memoir of a mother lost to ethnic violence. Read full book review >
HANDEL IN LONDON by Jane Glover
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"Lush and illuminating—a lovely structure built on a solid foundation of research, expertise, and affection."
How and why the young German musical genius moved to London, where his budding talent blossomed. Read full book review >

ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS by Mark Griffin
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Dec. 4, 2018

"An engrossing and carefully documented account of a beloved film icon's life."
A thoughtful exploration of the career and elusive private life of Rock Hudson (1925-1985). Read full book review >
TRIPS by Arthur W.  Goodhart
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 23, 2018

"An engaging picaresque that explores the role of chance and fate inside the casino and out."
Poker becomes the key to understanding life and history—though not to winning money—in this meditative gambling memoir. Read full book review >
BECOMING by Michelle Obama
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 13, 2018

"An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like."
The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed. Read full book review >

AMERICAN OVERDOSE by Chris McGreal
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 13, 2018

"A well-rendered, harrowing book about dire circumstances."
A deftly researched account of America's opioid epidemic. Read full book review >
PATRIOT OR TRAITOR by Anna Beer
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 13, 2018

"A penetrating, spirited recounting of a courtier's roiling life and times."
A new biography of Sir Walter Ralegh (c. 1554-1618), a handsome, wily, politically astute, and powerful figure in Elizabethan England. Read full book review >
THE MAN IN THE GLASS HOUSE by Mark Lamster
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

"Offering a fresh look at his subject's less-than-savory aspects, Lamster portrays a diffident genius for whom being boring was the greatest crime and whose work, while often riveting, was also 'barren and inert and lonely.'"
An astute but not terribly sympathetic look at the influential modernist architect. Read full book review >
CHURCHILL by Andrew Roberts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

"The most comprehensive single-volume biography of Churchill that we have in print and a boon for any student of the statesman and his times."
Sprawling life of the great British leader, drawing on previously unavailable documents, including notes of wartime counsels kept by King George VI. Read full book review >
IN EXTREMIS by Lindsey Hilsum
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

"A rip-roaring life rendered extremely well."
British journalist Hilsum (Sandstorm: Libya in the Time of Revolution, 2012) builds on her personal experiences with reporting from war zones to relate the death-defying professional wanderings of Marie Colvin (1956-2012). Read full book review >
THE ANNOTATED MEMOIRS OF ULYSSES S. GRANT by Ulysses S. Grant
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

"This is the edition that serious students of the Civil War, and Grant's role in it, will want. Indispensable."
A new edition, with thorough commentary, of the memoirs of an American Caesar—and indeed, a book long reckoned to be America's version of The Gallic Wars. Read full book review >
TWO MINUS ONE by Kathryn  Taylor
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 6, 2018

"Truthful, dignified, and pragmatic writing."
A woman chronicles a painful divorce in this debut memoir. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >